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March 2020 Archives

Blowing the Whistle on Coronavirus Relief Fraud

When disasters strike - including the current coronavirus outbreak - price gouging, scams, and other fraud unfortunately follow. If the government is the entity being defrauded, however, whistleblowers have the power to expose the wrongdoing and protect the public, but they, too, need protection from unlawful retaliation.

Apple Must Pay Workers for Time Spent on Mandatory Inspections, California Supreme Court Unanimously Rules

If your employer required you to wait around your workplace for up to 45 minutes after the end of your shift before letting you go home, you would likely want to be paid for that "off the clock" time. If you work in California, your state's highest court agrees with you.

Joll v. Valparaiso Cmty. Sch., No. 18-3630 (7th Cir. Mar. 23, 2020)

The Seventh Circuit reiterates that the task of the district court deciding a motion for summary judgment in a Title VII case is not to "ask[] whether any particular piece of evidence proves the case by itself," but instead to aggregate the evidence "to find an overall likelihood of discrimination." The panel notes here that hiring procedures may have been twisted to favor male applicants for coaching jobs over the plaintiff.

Changes to New Jersey Law Expand Worker Protections and Target Employee Misclassification

Several recent changes in New Jersey employment law have increased protections for Garden State workers. This stands in contrast to new interpretations of federal wage and hour law, which have generally been viewed as much more employer-friendly. The new laws in New Jersey attempt to address the widespread problem of employee misclassification, provide employees with more avenues to pursue claims for unpaid wages and overtime pay, and impose stiffer penalties on employers that violate workers' rights.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201, hereinafter "the Act"),  signed into law Thursday by the President, provides two new, important worker protections related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both go into effect April 2, 2020 (fifteen days after enactment) and expire December 31, 2020.

Your First Deferred Compensation Agreement

When negotiating an executive employment agreement, you have to consider not only the compensation but also the tax consequences and issues that may arise because of when or how you are compensated. To fully understand and avoid any potential pitfalls, you should ensure your compensation agreement complies with the requirements of section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, a law that addresses taxation and regulation of deferred compensation arrangements.

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Ex-Employees Concerns Over Stock Options

As the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads, so do workers' fears about their jobs, compensation, and health insurance coverage. For many employees, losing a job also places their stock options in jeopardy. In our continuing series of FAQs, we talk about stock options - what you need to know, how and when to exercise them, and how you can approach an employer to preserve your rights.

Green v. Town of East Haven, No. 18‐0143 (2d Cir. Mar. 10, 2020)

The Second Circuit analyzes a claim that an ADEA plaintiff was "constructively discharged," that is, compelled to retire or resign against their will. The panel holds that a threat of imminent termination for supposedly stealing a canister of poppin' fresh biscuits was enough to support such a claim.

Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act Provides D.C. Restaurant Workers with Paid Time Off

The United States is facing an unprecedented pandemic of the highly contagious Coronavirus. Restaurant and hospitality workers in our nation's capital are at particular risk because of the high number of individuals with whom they interact each day. Although there is no federal law requiring private businesses to compensate workers for time off due to illness, the Washington D.C. Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act requires employers - including restaurants and bars - to provide paid sick leave.

Rasmy v. Marriott Int'l, Inc., No, 18-3260 (2d Cir. Mar. 6, 2020)

The Second Circuit reminds courts that it is not necessary for a Title VII harassment plaintiff to prove specifically that there was physical contact, that their work performance suffered, or that they were personally targeted for harassment to prove that there was a "severe or pervasive" hostile work environment.

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